How the scam works:
Piggybacking on the success and the audiences of well-known mobile applications, cyber-criminals create fake apps or websites that are meant to steal your personal information. Using illegally apps' logos and branding, crooks invent spin-off apps or features that are claiming to be part of the “new marketing strategy”.
The latest hoax comes as the WhatsApp Trendy Blue feature, meant to be used by the WhatsApp users. As you know, WhatsApp is a leading instant messaging app, used now by over 700 million active users. Well, fraudsters created a website called whatsappblue.com. This page promises to get you the newest and coolest features to your existing app. All you have to do, as seen in the picture above, is to put in your WhatsApp number and invite friends to do the same, and you'll be notified in the future when you can use the new awesome feature.
The submission form on that page has a few fake comments as well, as “beneficiaries” of the new feature are extremely content with the Trendy Blue upgrade. As soon as you submit your phone number, you are taken on a different page where they claim to do the “User Verification – Antibot Protection” process. They want you to prove that you are an active WhatsApp user by completing two steps. One is to invite 10 friends and 3 groups to access the Trendy Blue feature, and the other is to click the “Human Verification” button.
By doing all this you are subscribing to an expensive premium rate phone line/text messaging service, as well as your phone number is being sold to telemarketing companies that will overwhelm you with unsolicited calls in the near future. Plus, you're just spamming your own friends by spreading this hoax.
How to avoid:
Think about it. Why would you have to insert your phone number if you are a user already? You should be in the system. Not to mention that you shouldn't prove that you are an active user. Always research the offers and upgrades that are coming in other ways than through the apps themselves. Feel free to submit the name of a fraudulent app below, in the Comments section.
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